Employee performance management and development within the regional hospitals in the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health.
The research was conducted within the Regional hospitals of the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health. The study was motivated by the fact that regional hospitals provide specialised public health services yet are perceived by the general public to be struggling in the area of service delivery, motivating the question of whether their performance is being properly managed or not. The research involved 439 respondents from 8 of the 14 Regional Hospitals in the KwaZulu-Natal Province. The research instrument that was used was a self-administered questionnaire comprising 35 questions arranged in the form of a Likert Scale. The literature review provides an overview of the status core within the health sector in general, but specifically about the Regional hospitals of the KZN Department of Health. The literature highlights the challenges faced by these hospitals and also provides the legislative framework within which hospitals have to operate. There is a discussion on the theoretical overview of what performance management and development as a process entails. This touches on the components of performance management such as performance planning, performance appraisals, performance monitoring, reward systems and so forth. The research design that was employed by the researcher is clearly indicated and discusses a variety of research methods that were considered before the quantitative method was deemed the most appropriate. It also gives clarity on how the research instrument was constructed. Data that was collected was analysed and presented. The findings and the recommendations from this study are provided. Findings, in the main, reveal gross unaccountability by most public servants. Underlying causes of include the fact that some positions are political appointments as opposed to appointments based on competency. Another element is the fact that salary increases tend to be the same across the board, irrespective of one’s performance. A complete overhaul of the Employee Performance Management and Development System is recommended. Findings also reveal that, in some cases, performance agreements have not been signed by the employees. This needs to be improved since performance agreements spell out the key performance areas of the employees as well as the time frames within which such performance has to be achieved. The findings also revealed that in some cases where the staff signed their performance agreements, they did so without any prior consultation. It is recommended that there be an addendum that staff signs to confirm that they were given a chance to prepare themselves prior to signing their performance agreements. The study revealed that while, in the main, it seemed like management had conducted the performance management and development of their subordinates correctly, there is clear evidence that there is room for improvement in all the variables that were posed during this study. It is therefore recommended that a competency centre in which supervisors and managers are trained in the process of performance management and development be established within the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health. The study further recommends that the strategy that is used to implement the Batho Pele principles must reflect the unique nature of the Regional hospitals. The study also recommends that a deliberate culture change be brought about within the Regional hospitals. The study further recommends that the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health come up with a strategy to encourage its employees to participate in research on issues relating to their performance and development. The study was concluded, with the limitations of the study, which included among others time and budget constraints as well as reluctance on the part of Government employees to participate in the study, taken into account and recorded.